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Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Comments

Ctein, thanks for the blatant honesty. So tried of the regurgitated crap from sites that haven't even handled the camera.

A trusted acquaintance alerted me to pitfalls regarding my own way of working, so that killed any joy for me.

At least 4 manufacturers make lenses for Micro Four Thirds, which has to count towards a diverse ecosystem. I think there are actually a couple more.

I would offer one more option in addition to try before you buy, and that's RTFM.

Dear Ray and Steve,

OK, both you guys are saying that a histogram is available when viewing RAW files. Dunno how both DDB and I missed that, and I sure couldn't find it in the manual (but if I were to damn a camera because of a lousy manual, I'd have to go back to using film). But if you say it's there, it's there.

So, any way to get exposure info (either a histogram or out-of-range blinkies) in live view without permanently cluttering up the custom screen? If so, I might have to put this back on my "maybe" list.

~~~~~~

Dear Michael B.,

I haven't found that a reliable way to judge exposure, myself. Way too much guesswork. Maybe it works well for others.

I'm not sure what you mean by benefits of the X-Pro system that I don't get in u4/3. Some incremental improvements, yeah, to be sure. But nothing earth-shattering. Somewhat better image quality (but lots of cameras have that). Nice lenses (but I've got those, although I don't mind switching if there's a good reason). Reasonably compact (but I got... oh you get the idea).

pax / Ctein

+1 with a bullet.
I didn't have long to test this overpriced turkey of a camera, just half an hour in a shop. That was enough. No diopter adjustment? On a camera whose viewfinder - in theory at least - is one of its principal USPs. OK, I wear glasses but how come the OVF was in focus and the evf out? Would a different eyepiece lens solve this? In any case anyone know a shop where they have alternative eyepiece lenses to try? I didn't think so.
A narrow escape. Based on the reviews I almost shelled out sight unseen. Then I looked at some sample files and handled an OM-D E-M5 (appalling designation). Not without its faults but a delight to use and a lot cheaper, with a large range of excellent lenses at reasonable prices.

Dear Roy,

I found the lack of a diopter adjustment a peculiar omission on a semi-professional camera (yeah, I've heard the explanation-- doesn't excuse it). But, is that really a big deal? Lots of film cameras required supplemental screw-in diopters. They ain't expensive. I wouldn't let it affect my buying decision.

Now, different focal distances for the two kinds of finders could be an unresolvable issue if you suffer from advanced presbyopia.

Just 'cause I hate it doesn't mean I think the camera is either overpriced nor a turkey. I don't. It just doesn't do what I want it to do.

Don't confuse a personal dislike with a review or an objective evaluation. I reiterate what I said at the beginning.

It's not about you, it's not about the camera, it's about me.

pax / Ctein

Dear Steve,

Two of us RTFMed and couldn't find the business about bringing up the histogram on the backside display when reviewing photos.

pax / Ctein

@ Ctein:

FYI, the histogram that comes up when you push the "disp back" button is very small and doesn't show the individual RGB channels, as the E-P1 does, but only the luminance channel. So even though it technically does exist, I don't believe it will meet your needs very well.

Unfortunately, I don't know of any way to toggle the histogram on-and-off pre-exposure, so you're SOL unless you're willing to dive into the menu to do so, which is a non-starter for me as well. However, after capturing over 7000 photos with the X-Pro1, I've come to have a pretty good sense when and by how much I need to compensate exposure (just as I did with film!), so this hasn't been as important to me as it was with, say, the E-P1, which I found to have less headroom than the X-Pro1 and thus wasn't as tolerant of exposure errors.

As we have discussed, my attraction to the X-Pro1 has more to do with its traditional form-factor than its performance. While this certainly was not the only reason I bought an X-Pro1 (two of them, actually), it was perhaps the primary one. Here's hoping other camera manufacturers take the hint and follow Fuji's lead!

Hi Ctein, I know the manual is a bit opaque, but the info is on page 22, which describe the display options in playback mode accessible from the DISP/BACK button. It works for RAW images too.

@Ctein

A cellphone snap of an XPro snap of the clutter in my basement... but demonstrates the histogram for image review.

For me, the simplest thing would be to use the standard display mode for the back LCD (toggle the DISP/BACK button). Nothing but the exposure meter on the left, exposure mode, shutter/aperture/ISO on the bottom, and focus spot in the center. If you want a histogram, set it up on the custom display screen, then in use you can toggle to it with two taps of the DISP/BACK button. Back to standard with three taps. The only fly in that ointment is in manual exposure, because then (and this is a teeth gnashingly annoying issue) the histogram stops being live, and starts being what the histogram WOULD be if you were letting the camera set the exposure. I reserve judgement on that because, based on the X100, I assumed that the initial firmware would be a work in progress, with incremental tweaks, and so simple stuff like that will get fixed. And since I tend to shoot in aperture priority, I just use exposure comp, so not that big of a day to day an issue for me. Also, despite the slow-ish refresh rate, the EVF mode of the hybrid viewfinder is quite accurate in my experience (I've shot a lot of live music with my XPro, so not exactly uncomplicated lighting conditions), so in higher contrast situations I tend to use the EVF and check for bright spots.

My $0.02, YMMV, etc.

Dear Ray,

And, so, there it is, in living color. Whaddaya know!

Had I found this myself, it'd require some rewriting of my original article, but not much. I'd have had to excise the bits about hating the camera (too bad, hyperbolic prose is such fun). But I'd still not have liked it. The standard back screen is too cluttered and distracting for me. The custom one still isn't entirely free of distractions (neither Jeff nor I could figure out how to turn off the slow shutter and silent mode warnings. Even if I could, there's no way to get any exposure info before exposure except to "permanently" obscure the custom screen with the histogram. And after exposure, the histogram is pretty minimal.

Unlike Jeff and some others, I care nothing about styling-- doesn't affect me one way or another. And all the cameras I'm considering have a wide enough array of lenses and lens adapters available that there's no special bonus there, either.

Combined with all my other (still accurate) observations, it'd get a distinct "meh" from me. Not a "hate", but nothing that's going to have me spending a premium price or even disposing of my existing kit.

Which takes us back to my original point. TRY BEFORE YOU BUY. I'd have had a very hard time figuring any of the foregoing out without being able to lay my hands on a camera. It still reads very good on paper. It doesn't work at all well for me.

pax / Ctein

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